Journalism Ethics: A Short Video Lesson

Journalism Ethics: A Short Video Lesson



hello Timmy how are your journalistic ventures going along I can see that you are very prepared today yes you are wearing your reporters fedora you also have a mug filled with your favorite whiskey you have today's newspapers to look for story ideas very good you also have your Apple laptop hold on a second Timmy aren't you forgetting something think about it a second no you have your hat you didn't forget that you didn't forget your whiskey either think what are you forgetting Timmy you're forgetting about journalism ethics yes Timmy journalism ethics are the guidelines that you must follow morally we're reporters need to be careful with how we take pictures and collect information as well as take caution with how we write and word our stories at the end of the day ethics are what make our nation's papers and telecast is great but what should your ethics be Timmy let's start with Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative now you could sit down now and start reading some of Kant's work but you'll find it to be very old very dense and very boring for the sake of this video lesson we'll cut it down short categorical imperative you should consider if you do a certain thing every time if not you should not do it at all for example Timmy could be reporting critically on Herman Cain's recent sex scandals hold on a second Timmy you're forgetting the Newt Gingrich had multiple sex scandals as well would you report critically about Newt Gingrich if not you should avoid writing this story next we should consider John Rawls veil of ignorance and which one should ignore any social racial and economic statuses within a report for example Timmy is writing about a homeless man stealing food from an elderly woman this headline is judgmental and unbalanced Timmy should ignore the status of the woman and the Robin write the headline for what it is very good Timmy you should start taking notes now because things will get more complex sometimes it's hard to minimize harm in the news story when there are sensitive topics and your sources are emotionally upset should do whatever you can to avoid hurting their feelings such as publishing sensitive photos or material such photos or material could hit a raw nerve with your audience's resources and your editors and you should avoid such material at all costs most importantly a journalist must be objective and separate from outside influences for example sometimes your sources will appeal to you with gifts never use these gifts as reason to write better about your sources however if the gift is worth $20 or less you may keep it that's right Timmy that means you can enjoy those cookies on the other hand if the gift is more expensive such as a new camera you will want to return it or throw it out altogether sometimes although very rarely your sources may try to coerce you in this case immediately alert your editors of the situation and contact the authorities protect you and your co-workers objectivity can also be challenged through relations with sources you should never write a story about a person or institution that you have connections with or their social economic or sexual and remember never sleep with your sources now that you have all this information you must be wondering how do I use these ethics well Timmy there's something that we in the field like to call the Potter box a four step way to apply ethics the first step is to identify your problem whether or not you should publish a certain picture or write a certain story the second step is to identify your most important values such as truth objectivity individuality minimization of harm or others the third step is to apply one of our ethical principles either counts categorical imperative or Rawls veil of ignorance lastly you'll want to identify your loyalties as a journalist writing in the United States you have a duty to respect your country as well as remain loyal to your family and your co-workers and employers if you use all these four steps and keep your integrity in mind you'll be right on your way to being a successful journalist Timmy you can start writing now

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